January 2021 Newsletter
Make Your Mark On the Future of Public Oral Health in Virginia!

We have big expectations for 2021 after a trying year that tested our limits physically, mentally, and emotionally. Over the past six months, oral health stakeholders from across the commonwealth met regularly as the Future of Public Oral Health taskforce, to outline what the future of public oral health can look like in Virginia. The taskforce recently released recommendations that provide a roadmap to improve oral health accessibility and delivery, ensuring equitable care for all. I hope you will join colleagues from across the state to make sure these recommendations become reality by joining an implementation team focused on one of the goals below:

  • Workforce 
  • Technology 
  • Data
  • Integration

You can read the full report here, and click here to join an Implementation Team.
Address Vaccine Hesitancy

As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more widely available, we can each play an important role in educating our communities about the vaccine and why it is important to get vaccinated. Vaccine hesitancy is very real, and often grounded in historical inequities and abuse by the health care system. To build confidence and reduce hesitancy, we can listen to others’ concerns, educate ourselves about the vaccine, and understand where to connect people with access and coverage, including COVID testing. This article explains the pivotal role that safety net clinics take in serving communities that have been more hard hit by COVID, like the Black and Latino communities. Building trust, understanding concerns, and sharing information in a relevant and understandable way will help reassure others about the vaccine. Learn more about addressing vaccine hesitancy:
Adult Dental Benefit: Updates and Opportunities

The comprehensive adult dental benefit will resemble the pregnant women dental benefit, covering care such as cleanings, fillings, periodontics, and dentures. To see a very high-level overview of what will be covered, click here. The fee schedule and other details are still being determined (they will also closely resemble the benefit for pregnant women) and updates will be posted here when available. 
  • Get involved:  If you would like to take a more active role to help inform the rollout process and materials, join the Adult Dental Benefit Implementation Team! Learn more here. 
  • Catalyst is partnering with DMAS and DentaQuest to host a webinar to share updates and answer questions about the implementation of the benefit in Medicaid, including credentialing information and benefit design specifics. This webinar is open to all. And will take place on Feb. 3, 12:00 pm -1:00 pm; click here to add it to your calendar.
Did you know? Catalyst has a Clinical Advisory Board – Join Us!

Catalyst staff and leadership rely on a diverse and interdisciplinary group of clinicians to provide clinical and population health expertise to guide our program and advocacy initiatives. Members of the Virginia Health Catalyst Clinical Advisory Board (CAB) have the opportunity to network with other esteemed clinicians across the commonwealth from all regions and sectors, including medical, dental, behavioral, and community health. CAB members support the Catalyst mission and core values by informing statewide population health, integration, and care coordination efforts. We are recruiting new members! Please consider joining us. If you are interested, contact Ericca Facetti.
Additional Resources
Applications are Open for the VA State Loan Repayment Program

The program, operated by the Virginia Department of Health-Office of Health Equity, provides a non-taxed incentive to qualified medical, dental, behavioral health, and pharmaceutical (pharmacists) professionals in return for a minimum of two (2) years of service at an eligible practice site in one of the federally-designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) in a qualified field of practice in Virginia. Applications close March 31, 2021. Learn more and apply here.
President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan

To address PPE needs during the COVID-19 pandemic the VHHA has partnered with PPE. Exchange. PPE. Exchange is a free platform for providers to find much needed PPE. In addition to buying PPE for individual organizations, the VHHA can facilitate “collaborative purchases” which aggregate purchases across organizations to secure more cost savings. More information on the partnership and how to leverage the platform is available on the VHHA website.
Virginia COVID-19 Vaccination Prioritization Guidance

COVID vaccinations for Virginians are currently underway for cohorts 1a and 1b. Dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants are included in 1a. Vaccine supply continues to be the biggest barrier to delivery, but dissemination will continue. See VDH guidance here.
Register for the FREE Special Needs Dentistry – You Can Do It! Trainings

In partnership with the VDH, Catalyst is excited to offer a free five-part webinar series for dentists and dental hygienists on special needs dentistry. The series provides the dental community with the tools and knowledge to treat patients with special health care needs and covers topics like treatment planning, the latest clinical information and recommendations, and trends in special care dentistry. Attendees can receive 10 CE credits for the series, learn more here and register today!